Figures show mortgage lending weakened further in November

Amanda Jarvis

January 4, 2005

– Gross mortgage lending was £14.5bn in November. This was £0.6bn lower than October, and 11.8% lower than in November 2003.
– The seasonally adjusted rise in net lending (gross lending minus repayments), was £4.0bn, down on the underlying rises in September and October.
– There were 157,100 loans approved in November, with a total value of £13.2bn. Approval numbers were 13% down on October and 33% weaker than November 2003. The number of loans approved for house purchase was 20% lower than October and 41% lower than November 2003. Approvals for remortgaging were also weaker in November (-13% compared with October) and equity withdrawal loans were 5% lower by number than in October. The average approval for house purchase rose to £119,800.
– Growth in overall net consumer credit (£1.0bn, seasonally adjusted) strengthened in October in line with stronger than expected retail sales. Stronger growth in loans and overdrafts (+£0.8bn) was well up on the monthly average of £0.5bn, while demand for credit card borrowing (£0.2bn) fell in comparison with October, to be well down on the previous six months’ average (£0.4bn).

David Dooks, BBA director of statistics, said: “Weaker mortgage lending in November continued the pattern of reduced demand that we have seen over the second half of this year and there is little to suggest that mortgage appetites will change in the near-term, given the noticeable slow-down in the housing market.

“The advent of mortgage regulation had a small impact in November, temporarily reducing volumes of equity withdrawal approvals, as banks worked to ensure the full compliance of their products.

Overall consumer credit, despite a relatively weak rise in card borrowing, was stronger, following October’s weaker growth.”

The figures showed that:
Mortgage Lending
– November’s gross lending of £14,473mn was 4.1% lower than October’s total and compared with £16,402mn in November 2003.
– Net mortgage lending rose by £4,007mn. The twelve month growth rate declined to 13.2% the weakest annual growth since May 2002.
– Compared to the same month a year earlier, November’s approvals of house purchase loans were 41% lower by number and 34% lower by value; remortgaging loans were 22% lower by number and 9% lower by value; and equity withdrawal loans were 35% lower by number and 28% lower by value.

Consumer Credit
– New borrowing on credit cards totalled £7,883mn in November. This was slightly stronger than the average of the previous six months. Repayments continued to hold up so that a seasonally adjusted increase in net lending, of £219mn resulted; well down on the recent average (+£413mn).
– New lending on personal loans and overdrafts, at £3,550mn, was slightly up on the average for the previous six months. After seasonal adjustment, the rise in net lending of £800mn, was well above the average rise of £473mn over the previous six months.

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